A mark of distinction or distraction?

“. . . I had the idea before Eoghan reacted the way he did to your revelation – and between you and me, Maureen, we need to decide together if we’re going to announce that we’re time travelers. That kind of information could be dangerous to the wrong people.”

“Sean, they stopped burning witches over two hundred years ago.”

“Aye, right around the time they started putting people in insane asylums.”

Maureen rolled her eyes and grinned. “Go on, then.”

“Eoghan’s reaction confirmed it: Rockfleet is too small for someone like Dubh. Grace and her ilk don’t rule here; it’s not the port it once was. It’s a tiny village of fishermen and farmers, with the convent and the occasional French cyclist adding a bit of color. They all know each other – too well. He’d stick out. Christ, we’d stick out. Even here, we’re different; we’re strange.”

“And he’s even stranger. I don’t think he can hide the tattoos.”

Sean snorted and Maureen allowed the swaying cart to push her into his shoulder.

“Ah, but in Dublin…” she prompted.

“Aye, in Dublin, he’ll still stand out – you’re right about those tattoos – but not as much. He may have a better chance at reaching us there . . .”

D: Ah, that Maureen, she’s a canny one.

A: How’s that? It was Sean’s idea.

D: Both had the idea to go to Dublin, but they want to go for different reasons. Still makes me wonder . . . she might have been a firebrand on the battlefield.

A: D! Don’t make me change it.

D: Don’t worry, A. I’m just speculating on what might have been. She’s right about the tattoos, though. They were a bit of a distraction.

A: Well, not so much now.

D: A, when I stepped out of time, only military men and criminals had tattoos. It was a distraction. Of course, now everyone has them. Actually, reminds me a bit of home.

A: So would you have gotten Maureen a tat if you’d picked—

D: A! She’s a young woman! I know everyone now has tattoos, whether or not they’ve earned it, but I have my limits.

A: Um, D, your chauvinism is showing. I have tattoos.

D: . . . My point exactly. In my day, the tattoo was a part of your training, a mark of pride, learning, strength.

A: In your day . . . never mind. Each one of mine represents something too, D, and I wear them with pride. I can also hide them when I want to be a “ young lady.”

D: Ingenious. I tremble for mankind.

A: (Eye roll) Go back to your speculating, D. I have a story to write!

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